Mount Rushmore National Memorial under construction.
The workers had to endure conditions that varied from blazing hot to bitterly cold and windy. Each day they climbed 700 stairs to the top of the mountain to punch-in on the time clock. Then 3/8 inch thick steel cables lowered them over the front of the 500-foot face of the mountain in a "bosun chair." Despite the dangers, no one was killed during the project.
Otters in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.
The sea otter population of Glacier Bay has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Ecologists consider sea otters a keystone species here. Otters consume vast quantities of clams, urchins, crabs, and other invertebrates and their presence creates ripples through the ecosystem. NPS photo.
Every day someone like you becomes a wildland wildfire fighter, a teacher, a trail-builder, a museum curator, or a park ranger. Discover your opportunities in national parks. Come to play. Come to learn. Come to serve. Develop your environmental leadership skills. Find a job. Be the next generation to preserve and protect these great places.
With more than 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban parks are more important than ever. The father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, said of urban parks:
It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God's handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.
Collections can best serve agency objectives if current managers know the importance of various collection categories and why their maintenance is worth the investment of agency resources. Some items of Federal property are designated for preservation in perpetuity by Federal law. Others are needed to support, or "voucher," agency decisions related to resource management or science.
Items may be maintained in museum collections to honor government-to-government relationships with Indian tribes. Other items may be important gifts from individuals or governments.
Collections may represent decades of careful selection by generations of scientists or historians, and may contain specimens or artifacts no longer available for collection. Continuing access to collections may be essential to on-going agency mission activities and for compliance with environmental and cultural preservation mandates.
Federal collections increase in value overtime, and agencies have a fiduciary responsibility to maintain them in public trust for the American people.
Federal agencies acquire museum collections in many ways. The major reasons include compliance with government-wide laws and support of agency mission activities. These are illustrated in agency web pages.
Mandated by Law, Regulation, or Executive Order (The following are among the most frequently used mandates)
Its primary focus is the protection of archeological sites from looting, which was widespread in the southwest in the late 1800s, as it is now. The Act establishes the permit process for archeological excavation on federal and tribal lands in an effort to deter destruction of sites by anyone who is not a professional archeologist. It establishes fines and punishment for unauthorized excavation or looting. It also allows the president to declare historic or prehistoric sites or structures as national monuments, as President Clinton did several times during his presidency.
This law directs the expansion of the National Register of Historic Places to include cultural resources of national, state, or local significance; authorizes matching Federal grants to states and the National Trust for Historic Preservation for acquisition and rehabilitation of National Register properties; establishes an Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; and provides procedures in section 106 for Federal agencies to follow in the event a proposal may affect a property on, or eligible to, the National Register. It defines Federal Museum Collections as including both museum objects and documentation, and is among the laws instructing the Secretary of the Interior to issue regulations on the care and management of archeological collections. These regulations (36 CFR Part 79) were issued in 1990.
The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) strengthened the permitting procedures required for conducting archeological fieldwork on federal lands, originally mandated by the Antiquities Act. It also establishes more rigorous fines and penalties for unauthorized excavation on federal land.
Curation of Federally Owned and Administered Archeological Collections